Railroad Union President on What Happened to 30 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate


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Brannon Howse: All right, We got to hurry along. We got a lot to get to. James Rogowski and Leo Hallman coming up. First, Tony Cardwell joins us. He is the leader, I think, of a railroad union. Tony, welcome back to the broadcast. I think you've been with us before, if I'm not mistaken, have you not?

Tony Cardwell: That is correct. Brannon, thanks for having me back. Appreciate it.

Brannon Howse: Great to have you back. Thank you. So your interview here is perfect timing with what we just heard from Colonel John Mills because now we're hearing about over at Worldviewreport.com, a railroad car that is missing something like 30 tons of ammonium nitrate, correct?

Tony Cardwell: That is correct. 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate magically disappeared from a rail car. Um, you know, the story behind it. And just to quickly fill your viewers in, it left to plant and noble it's Dino Noble out of Wyoming and it was a traversing track across the country to California. And from the time it was loaded to the time they went to unload the product, the ammonium the ammonium nitrate that was missing from the rail car, just magically disappeared.

Brannon Howse: How does that happen? I mean, you're talking I'm not a good math guy. I'm not good with these kind of things. That's not my particular gift. But you're talking about the need for, I'm guessing, a lot of forklifts because I'm sure a lot of this is on pallets. They got to get forklifts, they got to get trucks. I mean, this is a big production here, correct?

Tony Cardwell: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I'm careful about what I say on this particular issue because the investigations are still ongoing. It's a little concerning that this you know, this rail car left April 12th, and the product was discovered missing on May 10th.

Brannon Howse: And so a month later.

Tony Cardwell: A month later. And so, you know, the ongoing investigation, at least the information that we're receiving from the agencies is, is that you know, the car had leaked out the product. And if you knew ammonium nitrate, they're small pellets. And somehow or another it leaked the product out. Now, oftentimes you do see a product that falls from rail cars like fertilizer and whatnot. That happens. But to lose an entire railcar of this very, very dangerous product is surprising. Okay.

Brannon Howse: Now, am I to believe then let me go back? Am I to believe then that this was not individually packaged in bags and upon pallets, but was just a car that maybe some kind of machinery would just, you know, run their hose over the top there, shoot over the top like you see farmers doing when they dump their beans from the, you know, from the combine into the truck. So they just come over there and just fill that thing up until it's full. So you're saying that's how it was? It wasn't individually bagged, so it was sitting there and you could have a whole and it all leaks out. That's so that's what they're saying. But that doesn't seem very plausible, does it?

Tony Cardwell: It just doesn't. The seal was in. The surprising thing is that I found out today that the seal was still, um, was still there when it arrived at the location. Wait a minute.

Brannon Howse: Loaded the seal? Do you mean like they put some kind of security seal up there?

Tony Cardwell: That is correct. So so it can only the only plausible argument is that somehow it leaked from the car. But by this time we should have already been notified of whether there was an actual leak in the car or not. It seems like it would take a short time to discover whether there was a leak in a car or not. And there should be an ammonium nitrate all over the tracks from, you know, Wyoming to California. And my understanding is that there haven't been any found. So you know, this is all initial reporting. There's probably a lot more to it. They're not informing the general public, which I believe they should. This, as many of your viewers know, is oftentimes used for bombs and whatnot. And so it's important to assure that this product arrived, either arrived safely or to confirm that it did leak. If it was taken or stolen, then obviously it should be of great concern. Now, as much as I typically want to hold the railroad accountable for these things, um, I don't know that it's necessarily the, the railroad's fault this time. Last time I was on your show, we had all kinds of problems with the railroad and their operating systems and whatnot. And as much as I want want to blame them, I don't necessarily know that they're there to be held accountable for this. I think that I think that there was some mishandling here somewhere. I'm not sure. It's hard to tell. And I don't know how you just magically lose 60,000 pounds of highly explosive material. Um, or not, I wouldn't say that's highly explosive. But when it's used improperly, it can be highly explosive.

Brannon Howse: So what about the train stopping? Are there any records that this train stops overnight or stops for several hours somewhere? Surely there's fracking on these trains and satellite imagery and you know the railroad itself, right?

Tony Cardwell: Correct. Partway through the trip, my understanding is it was switched out. Oftentimes these cars are switched in a location in a yard so that they can get to the destination they need to go to. So they go into a different train consist. My understanding is the inspection of the car at that time, which, you know, there aren't long inspections done. So it's not like they do a hardcore overview of the car to make sure that it's all everything's perfect. They have thousands of rail cars that are inspected by one individual in a day. So you have this problem that was viewed and looked at is my understanding. And when it was looked at, there were no noticeable problems with the car at that time. And that was partway through the trip. So it's like I said, it's concerning. So if you.

Brannon Howse: Had to guess, if you just had to make an educated guess, what do you think is going on here, Tony?

Tony Cardwell: I hope that it leaked out. I'll say it that way because I don't want to know what somebody with 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate would be doing. There's obviously if that if that's the case, it it, you know, makes the hair on my neck stand up. Um, I hope that it leaked out. I hope that they will find residue that they, you know, that it leaked out. It does absorb very quickly. So if it did leak out, it could have been absorbed into the ground promptly. It's used in fertilizer. That's the main use for it. So it may have absorbed into the ground, but it seems like they would have found some residue between those two locations to confirm that it had leaked. And I haven't heard any reports that any residue has been found. You would think obviously.

Brannon Howse: Sheriff, sheriff's departments, police departments, um, you know, a lot of highway or other, you know, government, county, city, town officials who are, you know, going over those railroad tracks at crossings would start seeing stuff and start reporting, hey, we got something going on here. I mean, you would think that you know, a lot of officers, police officers, sheriff deputies, the railroad crews that run up and down those tracks and those special cars, the utility workers, all these different people that run over these tracks, they're used to running over them. If they saw something like that and saw it going on up the track, you'd think some of them would investigate and we'd have a report pretty quick. Hey, we've got a leak of ammonium nitrate up and down the tracks here. But you don't have any reports of any workers, utility workers, maintenance workers, crews, or sheriff cops reporting this, correct?

Tony Cardwell: I'm not the lead investigator on this, but you would think that that information would have been explained to the public. Very quickly to dispel the, you know, the original story or the big story came from The New York Times. And you would think that they would just dispel that story promptly.

Brannon Howse: In other words, everybody calms down. Nothing's wrong. We know what happened. There's a leak. There's a ton of ammonium nitrate on the tracks. We found it. There's overwhelming evidence. There was a leak. Everybody calmed down. That's not what we've gotten.

Tony Cardwell: That's not what we've gotten. And that's what kind of definitely, you know, I want answers, just like, you know, every other American I'm sure that knows about this, wants answers. We want to understand what exactly happened there. And before I'm going to accuse anyone of any malfeasance, I just want to have a clear report on what happened. And that report hasn't been given. And until it is, then then, yeah, there is a concern. And we need to make sure that the investigators are doing their job and finding out exactly what's going on here. And then.

Brannon Howse: Combine this, Tony.

Tony Cardwell: Was stolen. We should be notified. I mean, you know, and obviously, that's something I would think that the American public should be made aware of this because, you know, it took a small amount. I'm not a fear-monger. That's not my goal as a union leader. My job is to, you know, fight for the members and represent them as the best I can. But, you know, it took us a much smaller amount to in the Oklahoma City bombing, as you as everyone knows, and 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate in the wrong hands is a bad bad situation. So I hope that we get quick answers on this and that, you know, it did leak out and that it was just a mishap and the problem could be solved. I think I think that you know, the investigators should notify us because the longer they take to notify the general public that the more curious and the more propaganda that gets, you know, put out there. And so ultimately, I'd be hopeful that they'd give us some answers promptly.

Brannon Howse: Indeed. Of course, the timing is odd with the reports now of the Senate sergeant of arms handing out satellite phones to 50. So far of the 100 US senators, they all can have one. But so far reports are by CBS and others. 50 US senators have taken those in fear that there could be a disruption of communications in all or part of the country. So again, you have to wonder, are there any dots to connect here? Are there any is there any such thing as coincidence? Let me ask you in closing, Tony, you heard Colonel John Mills talking about China hacking some of the systems and cranes. You know, as your job as a union official for the rail with the railroad, you know, just so our audience understands, you're elected to your position by the railroad workers, correct?

Tony Cardwell: That is correct. We hold an election every four years, and I'm elected to the position. I represent all the track workers and the people that maintain bridges and tunnels and all the tracks across the United States. And fortunately, I have the pleasure and honor to represent some of the hardest-working people in this country. So, um, it's what I do and it's what I love. But the railroads, we talked about. This was the last time was on. The railroad's operating systems have fallen to abysmal. You know, we haven't we've been fighting them like crazy. And there was a, you know, near national strike and all that. And that's the last time I was on was discussed that um, fortunately, some of those things have been fixed and so there's some, um, some things have been solved, but the railroad continues to operate. Okay.

Brannon Howse: So with that as the backdrop, what do you make of Colonel John Mills talking about these machines that can these cranes that can be hacked by China? Because I would venture to guess that's going to impact you guys because a lot of the trains grab that stuff from the port and take it from there, correct?

Tony Cardwell: Yeah. When he talked about it was interesting because I have some knowledge of cranes. We have a lot of very skilled crane operators that work on railroad bridges and pile drivers and things of that nature. And so, yeah, it didn't seem like what he was saying was inaccurate. Um, and, and there's probably some legitimate concern there.

Brannon Howse: Well, what's your website, Tony?

Tony Cardwell: Uh, bmw.org.

Brannon Howse: Give it again.

Tony Cardwell: Bmw e.org. All right.

Brannon Howse: What's that stand for?

Tony Cardwell: That's a brotherhood of maintenance of way employees division. We're one of the oldest unions in the country and I've been representing railroaders for over 130 years. Wow.

Brannon Howse: Well, Tony, it's great to have you with us. It seems like we only grab you when there's potentially bad news, but it's good to have you with us and bring context to us. Tony, thank you for that.

Tony Cardwell: It's always a pleasure. Thanks for having me on again, Brannon.

Brannon Howse: Look forward to having you back. Thank you for your do. And thank all those hard workers that get all of our food and seed and all the other things we need to us. So thank all of them for us.

Tony Cardwell: They're a good American people. I appreciate them all.

Brannon Howse: They work hard and they're putting and they're putting in long hours because there's not enough of them.

Tony Cardwell: Yeah, that's a problem. They work an immense amount of hours there. You know, they're still it's still physical, hard work, swinging hammers and, you know, and working out in this heat and the cold and they're some of the salt of the earth, that's for sure.

Brannon Howse: Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's what you call these men. This is still where masculinity and a man are needed for the job. Right?

Tony Cardwell: Very much. You know, there are some females that we represent as well, and they're just all good, hard-working people. But it is a very male-dominated workforce, that's for sure.

Brannon Howse: Well, that's because there is a difference between men and women, despite what the liberals want to tell us. Thank you, Tony. Appreciate your being with us. Thank you.

Tony Cardwell: All right. I'll talk to you later.

Brannon Howse: Thank you. And by the way, folks, I appreciate the differences between men and women. I like feminine women. Don't you? Don't you? Don't you guys out there like pretty attractive, feminine women? Of course, you do. And that's, you know, manliness and masculinity is great for a man and femininity is great for a woman. This is what, again, we celebrate and use to celebrate. It's called, you know, complementarianism, where we complement each other. We bring our gifts together and complement each other. That's not allowed anymore. We all got to be the same. Well, we're not all the same. God created male and female created he, they. So anyway, I guess you know. But that's why people say oftentimes, how do you achieve what you achieve? Well, I have a wife who offsets a lot of the things that I'm not good at, and that's how we complement each other. That's what a life partner is all about. But again, you're not allowed to say that anymore, are you? But there's a job for you work in the railroads and there might be some women, as he said. But generally these are very physical jobs. And I'm sorry, liberals, we're not all the same.

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